"Heaven has its business and earth has its business: those are two separate things. Heaven, that's the angels' pasture; they are happy; they don't have to fret about food and drink. And you can be sure that they have black angels to do the heavy work like laundering the clouds or sweeping the rain and cleaning the sun after a storm, while the white angels sing like nightingales all day long or blow in those little trumpets like they show in the pictures we see in church."
"I respect the ways of old folks, but the blood of a rooster or a goat cannot turn the seasons, change the course of the clouds and fill them up with water like bladders. The other night, at the ceremony for Legba, I danced and sang my fill: I am a black man, no? and I enjoyed it like a true Negro should. When the drums beat, I feel it in the pit of my stomach, I feel the itch in my hips and up and down my legs, I have got to join the party. But that is all."
"The old men of the village of Mahotière say that the Mistress of the Water is a mulatto woman. At midnight she comes out of the spring and sings while combing her dripping long hair, which makes a sound sweeter than a violin. It is a song of perdition for whomever hears it. There is no sign of the Cross, no "Our Father" to save him. Her curse takes him like a fish in a net and the Mistress of the Water awaits him on the edge of the spring and smiles upon him and tells him to follow her to the depths, from which he will never return."
"He touched the soil, caressing its grains between his fingers: "I am this: this earth here, and I have it in my blood. Look at mycolor; it seems as though the earth faded onto me and onto you too. This country belongs to the black man and each time others tried to take it away from us, we mowed down injustice with our machetes"."
"She sang a song that sounds like life; I mean it was sad. Délira knew no other types of songs. She didn't sing loud, and the songhad no words. It was sung with closed lips and it stayed down in one's throat.... Life is what taught them, these Negresses, to sing as if they were choking back sobs. It is a song that always ends with a beginning anew because this song is the picture of misery, and tell me, does misery ever end?"